Colorado hands Utah 5th straight loss

Nique Clifford had 14 points and 11 rebounds, Tristan da Silva and Julian Hammond III each scored 15 points and Colorado beat Utah 69-60 in Boulder, Colo., on Saturday.

Ethan Wright added 10 points for Colorado, which snapped a three-game losing streak. The Buffaloes (16-15, 8-12 Pac-12) finished tied with Washington for eighth in the Pac-12 Conference.

Rollie Worster scored 15 points, Branden Carlson added 13 points and 10 rebounds and Lazar Stefanovic scored 12 points for Utah (17-14, 10-10). The Utes have dropped five straight to put their hopes for an NCAA Tournament bid in danger.

After a slow start, Colorado’s offense started to heat up in the first half. Jalen Gabbidon hit a 3-pointer and da Silva drained two from deep to put the Buffaloes ahead 15-7 with 11:35 left to play before the break.

Utah scored the next five points, but Colorado continued to build its lead. Clifford’s 3-pointer and a three-point play by Hammond made it 23-14.

The Utes got within 27-21 before the Buffaloes scored the last six points of the half to lead 33-21 at intermission.

Wright made a pair of 3-pointers early in the second half to help Colorado take a 41-25 lead, its biggest of the game, but Utah chipped away. Worster made two free throws and Gabe Madsen hit a trio of 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 44-36 with 13:54 left.

The teams traded buckets to keep it an eight-point margin until the Buffaloes expanded the lead to 52-40 on baskets by Clifford and Hammond. Utah got the deficit to nine before Hammond and Worster both made two free throws and Lawson Lovering’s dunk put Colorado up 58-47 with 5:26 remaining.

Stefanovic’s 3-pointer got the Utes within eight again, but Clifford answered with a triple of his own to put the Buffaloes ahead by 11 with 4:13 remaining.

Carlson’s dunk with 1:46 left got the deficit into single digits and Stefanovic hit two late 3-pointers to get Utah within six with 22 seconds left.

Hammond’s two free throws sealed it.

–Field Level Media

FLM Direct-Baller

Field Level Media was founded by sports media executives with more than 40 years of combined experience working with the most influential media companies in the industry.

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